Cranberry, Orange & Nut Loaf

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This simple cake makes a delicious alternative to a classic rich fruit Christmas cake. It will keep un-iced in an airtight container for a few days. Add the icing and fresh cranberry topping on the day of serving.

Serves: 8-10
Ready in: 1hr 45mins, plus cooling

  • 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 75g sweetened dried cranberries
  • 50g walnuts, chopped
  • 50g hazelnuts, chopped
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp orange juice

  • Half of a 400g tub ready-made royal icing
  • 2 tsp snowflake sugar sprinkles
  • 75g fresh cranberries
  • Fresh mint sprigs, to decorate (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 170C, 150C fan, gas mark 3. Grease a 900g loaf tin and line the base and up two long sides of the tin with baking parchment.
  2. Place the butter, sugar, flour, spice, baking powder and eggs in a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk for 2-3 minutes until thoroughly combined. Fold in the dried cranberries, nuts and orange zest and juice.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface. Bake for 1hr-1 hr 15 minutes or until risen and golden and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  4. Spread the royal icing over the top of the cake. Scatter over the sugar sprinkles and fresh cranberries, plus the fresh mint sprigs if using. Leave in a cool place until set. Serve sliced.

TIP: Instead of the fresh cranberries you could scatter over more festive-themed sugar sprinkles and add a dusting of edible gold spray for a really sparkly finish.


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